2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

 We start the drive video review asking a serious question: does this Euro Infiniti QX30 belong in the USA? This baby Infiniti has two variants on sale in America: the crossover-ish QX30 and QX30 AWD.  Then there is the wild cousin: the QX30 Sport.  Lowered ride height.  Performance mods and gloss black finishes galore.  Stance to make the most of the double-clutch automatic and turbo motor from Mercedes-Benz. Premium compact five-doors are big business on the continent.  Instead of trading up to a sedan after the Golf/Focus class, owners will shell out big cash to get into the A3, 1 …

Read more 2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

Rally Dakar 2016 Peugeot DKR16 Red Bull 27

DAKAR 2016 – Prologue and First Stage Gallery – Red Bull PEUGEOT-TOTAL DKR16

Dakar got off to a fairly rough start this year: a big crash canceled the timed events of the Trucks class, while a smaller incident saw the four-time defending champion MINI Countryman careen off the course and injure multiple spectators. Reuters and AP report a father and son were seriously hurt and are in serious condition. The MINI driver was the first female driver from China, and she also sustained injuries.  Initial reports are of a hard jump landing and subsequent loss of control of the vehicle. This was always a very, very dangerous race. And at least these traumatic events …

Read more DAKAR 2016 – Prologue and First Stage Gallery – Red Bull PEUGEOT-TOTAL DKR16

Revised Peugeot DKR 2015+ Battle-Testing New Engine/Suspension Setups Ahead of Dakar 2016

No person (or rally race) should be treated like ‘a means to an end.’ But when that ultimate goal looms larger than anything else in sight, you tend to focus on the main event. All others are just prep work. And so it is for the refreshed Peugeot 2008 DKR 2015+ racecar. That 2015+ coding is the internal tag for the heavy upgrade work done by the racing boffins at Peugeot Sport. The DKR was our clear favorite to win the Dakar rally in 2015, but lost out to the brutally fast MINI Countryman race squad, who are shooting for …

Read more Revised Peugeot DKR 2015+ Battle-Testing New Engine/Suspension Setups Ahead of Dakar 2016

MINI Countryman DAKAR 2015 19

MINI Countryman Team Looks Set for Dakar Four-Peat

MINI has been dominating the Paris-Dakar rally in Chile for the last four years running — and that dominance looks set to continue this year. The MINI squad is up about 30 minutes ahead of the next-quickest team as we enter day 12 of the race. The major competition in the form of the very-cool Peugeot 2008 DKR is still in the game, but with only one truck left. One of the DKR Pugs crashed out early in the competition. So will MINI sweep the competition again!? Watch this space. But when it comes to amazing action shots from the …

Read more MINI Countryman Team Looks Set for Dakar Four-Peat

2015 MINI COuntryman GIF header

2015 MINI Countryman Debuts Dark-Trimmed Style and LED Foglamp Rings

Okay, these updates probably could have been grouped together, considering the below is almost a complete Search/Replace for Paceman –> Countryman. But such is life. Here are the 2015 MINI Countryman details. MINI USA UNVEILS 2015 MINI COUNTRYMAN WITH WORLD PREMIERE AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW 16/04/14   MINI Countryman is currently the second highest selling model in the U.S. by volume, led only by the MINI Hardtop New safety and functional features enhance the premium crossover model Expanded range of paint finishes now includes Jungle Green metallic, Midnight Grey metallic, and Starlight Blue metallic Woodcliff Lake, NJ – …

Read more 2015 MINI Countryman Debuts Dark-Trimmed Style and LED Foglamp Rings

MINI Paceman Adventure Concept GIF1

MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Leverages DAKAR Winning Streak – Previews Next MINI Paceman Cabrio?

Sometimes reverse psychology is the best way to read quotes written by hardcore commincations professionals – folks like PR teams and diplomats, for example. So when MINI says… “The MINI Paceman Adventure is a true one-off and there are no plans for series production.” The jaded auto journo like me reads this as true, with a big “But…” While the off-road kit outfitted to this Paceman Adventure is surely a fantasy-level that is best fit for a concept, the basic drop-top premise seems much more plausible. This cabrio soft-roader is totally do-able once the concept embellishments like the steel pickup …

Read more MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Leverages DAKAR Winning Streak – Previews Next MINI Paceman Cabrio?

Street parker header

VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

By Special Contributor Andy Stella Spring is almost here in Chicago, and you know what that means: people forget that they just spent six months acting surprised every time it snowed. With snow comes decreased street width, huge banks plowed against our cars, and mounds of Honda Fit-sized snow piles taking up precious parking space. Once the snow clears, we must not forget to let some practicality guide our summer car shopping! What is my experience, you ask? Well, before I lived in Chicago, I endured even colder, snowier winters in Minnesota while attending college, and before that, I was …

Read more VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

Update1 – MINI Takes DAKAR Three-Peat with All4 Countryman Squad

Update 1 June 17, 2014 Okay, so this race was in January 2014. Which makes this is bit of a late update. But here is the short version: MINI dominated the 2014 Dakar Rally, winning its third title in three years. I’d be willing to wager that when the MINI crossover was born and christened a few years ago, it thought the Countryman name meant things like hiking, biking, rafting or just being near the woods. But now: Countryman has become “What Country Are We In?” via the long-range Dakar rally in South America starting January 5th, 2014. This is …

Read more Update1 – MINI Takes DAKAR Three-Peat with All4 Countryman Squad